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“Don Pasquale” lit by Painting with Light
Painting with Light renewed its long-term working collaboration with the Summer Opera at Alden Biesen, a 16th century castle in the village of Rijkhoven, Limburg, eastern Belgium. Paco Mispelters from Painting with Light was tasked with lighting this year’s production of Gaetano Donizetti’s comic opera “Don Pasquale”, celebrating 20 years since the start of the annual opera event.
The production was staged in the gardens of the castle - now a cultural and conference centre - and this environmental setting provided the inspiration for Philippe Miesch’s set design, which extended the garden theme and comprised a number of scenic trees, plants, grass and other foliage. Upstage was a 40 piece orchestra, with the action unfolding on the main stage space in front. The performance area had some weather protection from a temporary roof structure.
The roof system was ground-supported by four large, structural pillars with hooks along the top, beneath which U-shaped trusses were rigged to provide lighting positions over the performance space. Eight VariLite VL2500 Spots were used for the main back lighting fixtures, and four VL3000 Spots - on the front truss - projected gobos and texturing onto the front of the castle for some kinetic backdrop effects.
Eight Elation Satura LED profiles - with framing shutters - were the main tools utilized to define a number of different zones on-stage, with eight Robe LEDWash 300s dotted around. Six bars of 6 PARs in front and side positions provided general stage lighting and washing. Paco Mispelters programmed the show on a GrandMA2 light console, which was then transferred to an onPC/Fader Wing set-up for the 4 week run of shows.
Painting with Light provided one of its Christie Pandora’s Box media servers to the production, which played one piece of video towards the end that explained part of the story which happened earlier in secret. This was projected onto the castle via a Panasonic 7K machine rigged on the front truss. The Summer Opera Festival provided two lighting operators, and the lighting equipment was supplied by rental company New Lines from Genk.
(Photos: Patrick Smets)
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